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The Nation

FMCSA releases clarifications for HOS rules on agricultural exemptions, personal conveyance.

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced Thursday new regulatory guidance clarifying the 150 air-miles Hours of Service (HOS) agricultural commodity exemption, as well as providing additional explanatory detail of the “personal conveyance” provision.

“Due to input from commercial vehicle stakeholders and the public, the department has taken steps to provide greater clarity and flexibility regarding the intent and effect of these regulations for the agricultural and other sectors,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.

The guidance clarifies the exception on several points: drivers operating unladen vehicles traveling either to pick up an agricultural commodity or returning from a delivery point; drivers engaged in trips beyond 150 air-miles from the source of the agricultural commodity; determining the “source” of agricultural commodities under the exemptions; and how the exception applies when agricultural commodities are loaded at multiple sources during a trip. This regulatory guidance is issued to ensure consistent understanding and application of the exception by motor carriers and state officials enforcing HOS rules identical to or compatible with FMCSA’s requirements.

FMCSA published Federal Register notices proposing regulatory guidance for the transportation of agricultural commodities and the use of personal conveyance in December 2017 and requested public comment.

FMCSA in a news release stated the agency is providing clarity on the use of the agricultural exemption and personal conveyance to both industry and law enforcement along with providing as much flexibility as possible for the industry, while maintaining safety.

“We are dedicated to finding effective solutions to challenges, exploring new opportunities for innovation and constantly seeking ways to improve,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond Martinez.

Nearly 850 public comments were submitted to the Federal Register dockets on the proposed guidance pertaining to the transportation of agricultural commodities and to the personal conveyance provision.

The new regulatory guidance is presented in a question-and-answer format and explains the 150 air-mile radius agricultural commodity exemption and how the source of the commodity is determined.  For a copy of this guidance, click here.

The new regulatory guidance also outlines and includes numerous examples of under what circumstances a commercial motor vehicle driver may operate the truck or bus for personal conveyance.

For a copy of this guidance, click here.

 

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Vubao Hoang

    May 31, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    No matter what fmcsa do… there are still lot of stress on long haul driver.. we r human with biological clock; body-clock. Eld is for robot not human…

  2. Laura McCammon

    June 3, 2018 at 7:41 am

    I hope those desk drivers know that the industry is losing the most knowledgeable and safest drivers they have with ELD’s. My husband and his friends are seasoned(30+ years) but are leaving their livelihoods in Trucking because the rules and regulations are burying truckers. I loved the Trucking life, but we’ve had to let it go. It’s just like punching a clock these days, the reason we began way back when, was to avoid punching a clock. Sad.

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The Nation

New information on events leading to Celadon’s bankruptcy likely to anger former employees

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Bankrupt celadon receives partial approval to pay employee wages
Celadon officials knew of intent to file bankruptcy earlier than claimed. (The Trucker file photo)

While news of the Celadon bankruptcy that shocked the trucking industry broke nearly two months ago, newly unsealed documents provide insight into factors leading the carrier’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. In this instance, the documents show that TA Dispatch (TAD) of Ensley, Alabama, filed a $6.2 million lawsuit against the carrier six days before Celadon officials announced the company sought a U.S. bankruptcy court’s protection. The documents also suggest Celadon had a minimum of 11 days to inform employees of the company’s pending closure.

TAD’s lawsuit is based on a breach of contract on the part of Celadon. The contract stated that the two companies would partner, allowing Celadon to access TAD’s logistics platform in a revenue-sharing agreement that would assist both companies in better serving customers.

While Celadon and TAD shared billing duties and transferred funds under procedures stated in the revenue sharing section of the contract, in mid-November, Celadon was unable to make its payment of $4.4 million due to its partner. TAD claimed that in a late November meeting, a Celadon executive told them the carrier was insolvent. In fact, Celadon requested a loan from TAD in order to keep operations afloat.

When demand for payment sent to Celadon on November 27 went unmet, TAD officials stated Celadon responded that further inquiries would be referred to its bankruptcy attorneys. In addition, Celadon cut off TAD’s access to its IT services, a move that severely interrupted TAD’s operations. Later, Celadon restored access.

The timeline of events in late November provides some insight into a potential reason for Celadon’s bankruptcy. But former employees will be much more interested in the dates TAD notes in its lawsuit.

Celadon caught many employees off-guard on December 8, when it sent a midnight message to drivers announcing it had ceased operations. Shortly thereafter, the Celadon’s fuel card company deactivated cards and left drivers stranded across the U.S.

The timeline of events offers evidence to support a former employee’s lawsuit claiming Celadon had violated the WARN Act, requiring large employers to provide notice of at least 60 days before implementing layoffs. The timeline as reportedly recorded in the documents suggests Celadon had a minimum of 11 days during which company officials knew of its intent to cease operations — 11 days employees could have spent searching for new jobs and to prevent them from being unemployed during the holiday season.

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The Nation

Old Dominion Freight Line celebrates MLB Spring Training with nationwide fan events

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Old dominion freight line celebrates mlb spring training with nationwide fan events
Old Dominion will partner with eight teams for spring training celebrations this year, including the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies. (Courtesy: Old Dominion Freight Line)

THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Old Dominion Freight Line, the Official Freight Carrier of Major League Baseball, will drive the annual spring training sendoff tradition with MLB clubs across the country.

The company will deliver clubs’ equipment to warmer locations as the teams start spring training. Before the trucks hit the road, teams will celebrate the unofficial start of the 2020 baseball season with fans, coaches, current players, alumni and team mascots.

“spring training sendoffs are a player- and fan-cherished ritual. It’s our pleasure to be a part of these special events and ensure the teams’ equipment arrives safely and on-time,” said Dick Podiak, vice president of marketing and communication for Old Dominion Freight Line. “We are delighted to ring in the 2020 season as a corporate sponsor for 12 MLB clubs and as our fourth year as the Official Freight Carrier of Major League Baseball.”

This year, Old Dominion will partner with eight teams for the spring training celebrations, including the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies.

The festivities will begin with the Chicago White Sox 28th annual event, SoxFest, on Jan. 24-25. With the help of the White Sox mascot, Southpaw, Old Dominion will move the team’s equipment to the new SoxFest location, McCormick Place. Fans will have the chance to collect autographs and take photos with former and current stars of the Chicago White Sox.

On Jan. 25, the New York Mets will host the inaugural FanFest event at Citi Field. The sendoff will take place at noon in the player’s lot, where one trailer will be packed with more than 10,000 items, including 600 baseball caps, four pitching machines, 10 cases of chewing gum and 1,000 pounds of weight equipment for the team, and depart for First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Thousands of Braves fans are expected to attend ChopFest at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia on Jan. 25, where Old Dominion will celebrate with the team before their departure. The event will include interactive areas with players and coaches, pictures with team mascot, BLOOPER, a Braves history chalk walk, free autographs for kids and more.

Following the Kansas City Royals FanFest activities in downtown Kansas City, the team will move from Kauffman Stadium to Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona on Jan. 30. The team will pack up two 28-foot trailers and begin the 1,280-mile journey to Surprise Stadium.

The Los Angeles Angels are gearing up for an exclusive celebration on Feb. 4 where Old Dominion will load commemorative trailers with exercise equipment, consumable products for the clubhouse, and other Spring Training essentials, before hitting the road to Tempe, Arizona.

To wrap up the sendoffs, on Feb. 7, the Philadelphia Phillies will host a community event at Citizen Bank Park to celebrate “Truck Day.” With the help of the Phillies’ mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, Old Dominion will move a variety of items, including 10,000 12 oz. sports drink cups, 2,400 baseballs, six bicycles, one Phanatic hot dog launcher and more into two 28-foot trailers. The Phillie Phanatic — alongside rally-towel waving fans and local sports mascots — will escort the custom-wrapped trailers out of Citizen Bank Park to begin the journey to Clearwater, Florida. The Old Dominion tandem trailers will cruise through eight states, traveling 1,058 miles until it reaches their destination at Spectrum Field.

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The Nation

Daimler executive honored for supporting National Guard and Reserve employees

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Daimler trucks north america executive honored for supporting national guard and reserve employees
Jeffrey Thompson, right, director of aftermarket supply chain planning, receives the Employer Support for the Guard & Reserve Patriot Award from Bruce Thompson. (Courtesy: Daimler Trucks North America)

Portland, Ore. — Daimler Trucks North America is saluting an executive for receiving national recognition for his support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

Jeffrey Thompson, director of aftermarket supply chain planning, received the Employer Support for the Guard & Reserve Patriot Award last week at DTNA headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Thompson served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy for over three years.

The Patriot Award, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Defense, is given to supervisors who have supported employees in the National Guard and Reserve through such measures as flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence, if needed.

Shawn Meredith, manager of the continuous improvement project team in Fort Mill, South Carolina, nominated Thompson for the award. Meredith is also a battalion executive officer and commander in the U.S. Army Reserve. In his nomination, Meredith praised Thompson for supporting him while he completed his military education and during a September 2018 mobilization of reservists for hurricane relief support.

“Because of his decisions, I was able to achieve both my Army and DTNA missions for those years. Without his trust and empowerment for me to get the job done, one of my two careers would have suffered,” Meredith wrote.

“I’m honored to receive the Patriot Award,” Thompson said. “I believe it’s my duty and privilege to support those who serve our country in the Guard and Reserve. These dedicated men and women deserve employer support.”

Thompson began his career at DTNA in 2003 and has held positions in parts sales support, parts specialty sales, fleet parts sales, business excellence and distribution development with the elite support team.

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